Donald Trump orders governors to allow places of worship to reopen

Clay Curtis
May 23, 2020

United States President, Donald Trump, on Friday demanded that USA state governors allow places of worship to reopen immediately, as the country moves gradually towards a lifting of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

"President Trump and Governor Murphy today had a productive discussion on the need to continue to move forward intelligently regarding religious services as New Jersey continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic", Alfaro added. He ordered governors to allow them to reopen immediately, and threatened to override them if they refuse. Only New York has more deaths and cases among American states.

Trump said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at his direction, is "issuing guidance for communities of faith".

The president's comment came one day after he prodded the agency to issue guidelines, so congregations can restart gatherings for worshipers.

"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now".

Trump previously said he wanted churches to be reopened by Easter Sunday, on April 12, but that was dismissed by his own health experts, who said it was too risky.

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Lawsuits filed by pastors, congregants, and others have challenged orders in multiple states after governors and other officials put stricter conditions on houses or worship than other places.

"Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship", Trump said.

Some governors have allowed in-person church services to resume while others have continued to bar such events.

In a longer statement, the mayor explained that the city is still under a stay at home order and city officials have worked hard to educate constituents about the importance of social distancing and staying home, only leaving for an essential reason.

President Trump then slammed governors by saying, "If there's any question, they're going to have to call me, but they're not going to be successful in that call".

"These are places that hold our society together", he said. In recent weeks churches in some states have started to reopen as restrictions have loosened. Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus response task force, suggested that churches in areas with high infection rates may want to wait before reopening, regardless of Trump's order.

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